Durability + Design
About  |  Subscribe  |  Advertise  |  Connect 
Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook


Get your FREE e-resource: The Technology of Coatings in High-Rise Structures

D+D News

Main News Page

OSHA Slams Contractor in Near-Collapse

Thursday, May 8, 2014

More items for Good Technical Practice

Comment | More

A contractor’s failure to brace an empty shell of a building left it a death trap on the brink of collapse on untrained workers, federal authorities have determined.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cesar Mendoza, d.b.a. KI Management LLC, with two willful and 12 serious violations after an inspection found the unsupported structure on the verge of collapse as it was being demolished in Bridgeport, CT, in November.

Fines against the company total $196,000.

810 Boston Ave. 810 Boston Ave.
centralcthomebuyers via youtube

OSHA said the building had no support and workers were completely unprotected and untrained in demolition and lead hazards.

Neither Mendoza nor his company could be reached for comment Wednesday (May 7).

Deadly Precedent

OSHA said Mendoza's workers "were exposed to potentially fatal crushing injuries and other hazards due to their employer's failure to brace the building's walls and adhere to basic, legally required safeguards." The crews were demolishing and rehabbing the three-story, 24-unit apartment building.

"This employer's disregard of basic demolition safety fundamentals is unacceptable," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

The potential deadly consequences of such a demolition were evident in last summer's building collapse in Philadelphia, which killed six people and injured 14, said Michaels. One survivor lost both legs in that disaster.

Philadelphia building collapse
@RonniePhilly / Twitter

OSHA said the building condition and demolition work could have led to another disastrous building collapse like the one that killed six people and injured 13 last summer in Philadelphia.

"While no collapse occurred in Bridgeport, the hazard was real, present and entirely avoidable," said Michaels.

No Bracing, No Fall Protection

Mendoza's workers had removed the flooring from the second and third floor, leaving "an empty, unsupported shell that was vulnerable to collapse," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport.

"Employees at this job site were also exposed to falls of up to 36 feet from unguarded wall openings and to health hazards from inadequate measures to protect them from exposure to lead at the worksite.

"Worker safety and health were blatantly ignored."

Health Violations

Serious health violations allege:

801 Boston Ave.
Google Maps

Untrained workers removed interior floors and left multistory walls of the brick shell unsupported.

  • Lack of respirators, appropriate work clothing, and personal protective equipment for employees performing demolition, renovation and cleanup of lead-containing and other hazardous materials;
  • Lack of information, training and safety data sheets for kerosene, acetylene, adhesive, oxygen and other hazardous chemicals being used;
  • Open containers of oil, flammable and hazardous wastes;
  • Shoveling and dry sweeping, rather than vacuuming, of lead-containing materials;
  • Lack of testing for exposure to lead-containing paint and other materials; and
  • Lack of handwashing facilities and changing areas.

Safety Violations

Willful and serious safety violations, which comprise the majority of the fine, allege:

  • Lack of fall protection near second- and third-story chutes, windows and exterior walls (a willful violation with a $70,000 fine);
  • Unbraced, stand-alone masonry walls more than one story tall (willful violation, $70,000 fine);
  • Lack of training in demolition and structural bracing;
  • Lack of training in fall protection;
  • Lack of emergency exits;
  • Inappropriate storage of flammable chemicals and lack of a fire protection plan and equipment;
  • Electrical violations; and
  • Lack of guardrails and handrails on open stairways.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to remedy or contest the findings.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Commercial Construction; Contractors; Demolition; Fatalities; Health and safety; Lead; OSHA; Residential Construction; Respirators; Worker training

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Dumond Chemicals Inc.
Lead Encapsulating Compound

is a thick elastomeric coating that is made to be a long lasting barrier over lead-based paint. LEAD STOP® provides a protective barrier coat that seals and locks in lead that is contained in old lead-based paints on previously painted surfaces.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
SSPC 2016 Register Now!

SSPC2016 is earlier this year, don't forget to book your plane tickets and hotel. See you soon. For more information visit www.sspc2016.com

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Laboratory Services

Fully equipped lab to solve
the most challenging
coatings problems.
Contact: Kevin Brown, 336-386-4000

Beautiful Wood, NO flames

Achieve a Class A flame spread rating on your fine wood products with a clear, varnish-quality, durable finish. PyroCide Clear by PyroTech

Atlas Material Testing Technology

Helping You Put Your Products To The Test

• Outdoor Accelerated
• Laboratory Testing
• Accelerated Weathering

www.atlas-mts.com atlas.info@ametek.com

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.

AGC Chemicals
FEVE Coating Simulates Dazzling Gold Leaf On Facade Restoration

LUMIFLON based coatings can last up to 30 years without fading, offering a low-maintenance solution that retains color and gloss and can be field-applied

Keim Mineral Coatings
Translucent concrete stains for new and old concrete

Penetrating, translucent mineral silicate stains harmonize uneven concrete color and blend patches and repairs, without the "painted" look. Will never peel.


Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker


© Copyright 2012-2015, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved